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Defect Severity & Priority in Software Testing | David Tzemach

Overview

Defect Severity & Priority in Software Testing | David Tzemach A basic question that I come across many times during my career, is  the difference between the two terms (Severity Vs Priority).   

For some reason, many people are still failing to understand that those terms are always combined together (mandatory fields on every bug incident), but each one of them has its own importance and scale when examined individually.


Now, to simplify my answer, I will review the main aspects that should be examined when we want to explain the main differences between the two terms.

Priority
Severity

Scheduling Vs Quality

The priority level is the factor that determine the priority of bugs should be resolved, example: 10 bugs with the same severity, the bugs with higher priority are fixed first.


In addition, the priority level is the main factor that determines the urgency of the bugs that needed to be fixed sooner (Bugs with ‘Urgent’ priority will be fixed first no matter what is the severity that assigned on them).

The severity level is all about quality, the severity level is the term that determines the level of deviation from the product requirements and specifications.

In addition, the bug severity   is the factor that indicates for the level of impact that this bug has on the system/component and functionality.

Perspective

Priority is more about the importance of fixing the bug based on the business perspectives.

Severity is more about the importance of fixing the bug based on the system perspectives.

Is the status remain constant?

No,

When the priority status is set, the owner can change it during the defect life cycle (DLC).  

No,

When this severity status is set, the owner can change it during the defect life cycle (DLC).

Associated with..?

Priority is associated with timelines/scheduling

Severity associated with the   product quality

Determined by…   

The priority level is determined by the project owner/Test Manager/PM/ Etc.

The severity level is determined by the tester who reports the incident

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